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Group aiming to stop social media bullying launched in Japan

This image shows the members of the general incorporated foundation "Kono yubi tomeyo." (Image courtesy of the organization)

TOKYO -- A group aspiring to stop bullying and harassment on social media was launched in Japan on May 25, with members from diverse backgrounds and professions, including a blogger and a journalist.

    The general incorporated foundation, named "Kono yubi tomeyo," is represented by copywriter Mihiro Odake, and its advisers include journalist Daisuke Tsuda, Sagami Women's University specially appointed professor Toko Shirakawa, blogger and writer Ha-chu, and the nonprofit organization DxP chief director Noriaki Imai.

    The group is a spin-off project from an ad using crowdfunding that started on Oct. 28, 2020. The organization aims to reduce the number of abusive tweets by half by 2025, and will work on books to raise awareness among young people as well.

    Specifically, the group plans to post a real-time banner ad on Twitter when its monitoring team judges that many abusive comments and posts are appearing on social media. It defines potential abusive comments as messages constituting discrimination in general, such as those relating to race, appearance and disability. The advisers will also discuss how to address other types of abuse.

    The organization will create books based on children's stories for preschoolers, elementary and junior high school students and others unaware of what constitutes abuse on social media. The group intends to donate the books to children in cooperation with educational institutions and publishing companies.

    Additionally, it plans to extend mental care support to individuals harassed online, create flow charts to help them seek compensation and disclosure of information on abusers, and will publish the charts online for free.

    "Over the last 10 years, social media has become more influential than mass media," Tsuda commented. "Its negative side effects, such as 'flaming' of individuals -- in which victims are subject to abuse and defamation -- have also become a big issue. I hope our activities will shed light on such issues and lead to a decrease in negative influences."

    (Mainichi)

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